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Bleeding Heartland is a community blog about Iowa politics: campaigns and elections, state government, social and environmental issues. Bleeding Heartland also weighs in on presidential policies and campaigns, federal legislation and what the Iowans in Congress are up to. Join our community, post your thoughts as comments or diaries, help keep our leaders honest and hold them accountable.
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Analysis of the Obama-Romney vote in the Iowa House districts

by: desmoinesdem

Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 08:26:39 AM CDT

The Daily Kos Elections team has been compiling 2012 presidential election results by state legislative district as well as by Congressional district, state by state. Last week the Iowa numbers were added to the database. I took a first stab at previewing the battle for control of the Iowa Senate next year, using data including the raw vote totals and percentages for President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney in each district.

The Daily Kos database includes Obama and Romney vote totals and percentages for each Iowa House district here. After the jump I've incorporated that information and other factors to predict which Iowa House districts will be competitive in 2014. Writing this post has been challenging, because every election cycle brings surprises, and many more seats in the lower chamber will be in play. Unlike the Iowa Senate, where only half of the 50 members are on the ballot in each general election, all 100 Iowa House members are on ballot in every even-numbered year. Republicans currently hold a 53-47 majority in the lower chamber.

There's More... :: (3 Comments, 3366 words in story)

Iowa Utilities Board update, with background on Sheila Tipton and Nick Wagner

by: desmoinesdem

Mon Jul 22, 2013 at 13:23:00 PM CDT

Catching up on news from last Friday, Governor Terry Branstad appointed Des Moines-based attorney Sheila Tipton to fill a term on the Iowa Utilities Board that runs through April 2015. Tipton replaces Swati Dandekar, who resigned earlier this month, presumably with a view toward running for Congress. After the jump I've posted background on Tipton. Her law practice has primarily focused on representing "energy, telecommunications and water public utilities and other business entities" before state and federal agencies. She will be subject to Iowa Senate confirmation during the 2014 legislative session. I don't envision her having any trouble during that process.

For decades, the Iowa Utilities Board had at least one attorney among its three members. Branstad broke with that tradition when he named Dandekar to a vacancy in 2011. Earlier this year, the governor sought to appoint another non-lawyer, former GOP State Representative Nick Wagner, to the same board. He later withdrew Wagner's nomination, which was in trouble in the Democratic-controlled Iowa Senate. But one day after the legislature adjourned for this year, Branstad named Wagner to the Iowa Utilities Board on an interim basis. Wagner will also be subject to confirmation during the 2014 legislative session. After the jump I've posted Wagner's official bio and some background on Senate Democrats' concerns about confirming him to this position.

Any comments related to the new appointees or the work of the Iowa Utilities Board are welcome in this thread. Incidentally, there is already another Republican candidate in the Iowa House district where Democrat Daniel Lundby defeated Wagner in the 2012 general election.

There's More... :: (2 Comments, 1395 words in story)

Republican Ken Rizer will challenge Daniel Lundby in Iowa House district 68

by: desmoinesdem

Thu May 09, 2013 at 07:10:00 AM CDT

One of the ten closest Iowa legislative races last year was in House district 68, where Democrat Daniel Lundby defeated two-term State Representative Nick Wagner by 117 votes, 50.3 percent to 49.6 percent. I've been expecting Wagner to attempt a political comeback in 2014, as Governor Terry Branstad recently withdrew his nomination to serve on the Iowa Utilities Board.

If Wagner attempts to return to the statehouse, he will need to get through a GOP primary first, because yesterday Ken Rizer announced his campaign in House district 68. I've posted background on Rizer and Lundby after the jump, along with a district map and the latest voter registration totals.

There's More... :: (0 Comments, 1836 words in story)

A closer look at the Iowa counties Obama and Romney won

by: desmoinesdem

Thu Nov 08, 2012 at 07:20:00 AM CST

Preliminary results from the Iowa Secretary of State's website show that President Barack Obama defeated Mitt Romney in Iowa by 807,146 votes to 720,323 (51.89 percent to 46.31 percent) amid record participation of 1,555,570 voters statewide.

As expected, the president won a plurality of the vote in fewer Iowa counties this year than in 2008, but he did pick up one county that was a big surprise for me. Some thoughts about the presidential vote in Iowa are after the jump, along with maps showing which counties Obama, Romney, and John McCain carried. You can find vote totals for every county on the Iowa Secretary of State's website.

There's More... :: (1 Comments, 740 words in story)

First look at the Obama and Romney ground games in Iowa

by: desmoinesdem

Fri Aug 24, 2012 at 06:45:00 AM CDT

At this time four years ago, Barack Obama's campaign had about 30 field offices up and running in Iowa, compared to six offices for Republican presidential candidate John McCain.

Obama's campaign has had eight Iowa field offices open this summer and is rolling out another 26 offices around Iowa this weekend. So far, Mitt Romney's campaign has ten Iowa field offices, in addition to the unified Republican headquarters in Urbandale.

After the jump, I compare the field office locations for each presidential campaign, grouped by Iowa Congressional district. Where relevant, I've also noted competitive Iowa House and Senate districts near the Obama and Romney field offices, although I doubt either presidential campaign will do much for down-ticket Democratic or Republican candidates.

There's More... :: (8 Comments, 1966 words in story)

First look at Democratic prospects for Iowa House gains

by: desmoinesdem

Tue Mar 20, 2012 at 06:15:00 AM CDT

The redistricting process and several Republican retirements have created many pickup opportunities for Iowa House Democrats. The devastating 2010 election left them nowhere to go but up in the lower chamber, where Republicans currently enjoy a 60 to 40 majority. Relatively few sitting House Democrats represent vulnerable districts.

Speaking to activists at the Polk County Democratic convention on March 10, I heard lots of optimism about the House races. After the jump I've posted some early thoughts on the seats up for grabs.

There's More... :: (2 Comments, 1619 words in story)

Daniel Lundby will run for Iowa House district 68

by: desmoinesdem

Wed Jul 06, 2011 at 07:14:43 AM CDT

The son of one of Linn County's most influential Republicans during the past three decades will run for the Iowa House as a Democrat in 2012. Daniel Lundby on July 5 launched his campaign in the new Iowa House district 68. This swing district covers most of Marion (a suburb of Cedar Rapids) and some rural areas of Linn County, including the small towns of Ely and Bertram. As of April 2011, the new House district 68 contained 6,834 registered Democrats, 6,290 Republicans and 7,871 no-party voters.

Lundby's Republican opponent will be Iowa House Local Government Committee Chairman Nick Wagner. He has represented current district 36, covering suburban and rural parts of Linn County, since winning an open-seat race in 2008.

Lundby's first campaign press release refers repeatedly to his late mother, Mary Lundby. She was co-chair of the Linn County Republican Party before being elected to the Iowa House in 1986. After four terms as a state representative, she won several terms in the Iowa Senate, where she was among the more moderate Republicans. During the final weeks of the 2006 legislative session, she surprised most Iowa politics-watchers by ousting Stew Iverson as Senate Republican leader. She stepped down from the Senate in order to run for Linn County supervisor, but she dropped out of that race for health reasons. She died of cancer in early 2009.

Daniel Lundby's message to Linn County voters will be that today's Republican Party no longer shares his mother's values. From yesterday's campaign press release:

"My mother believed in a common sense approach to solving problems through partisan politics.  I want to bring that common sense back to the Iowa House.  My mother also strongly cared about children in Iowa and wanted them to get the best education possible.  Unfortunately, the needs of our young people now seem less important with the Republicans insisting on zero percent growth for local schools and education cuts to state universities.  None of which my mother would approve of.  Nor would she support cutting programs that protect our natural resources and our environment.  She would definitely not support attempts to deny equal rights to any Iowan.  Being my mother's son, I want the chance to continue her work for a better Iowa."

The comment about "equal rights" alludes to the fact that Mary Lundby was one of four Iowa Senate Republicans to vote against a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage in 2004. That amendment failed by a single vote in the upper chamber. Had it passed, the Varnum v Brien lawsuit challenging Iowa's Defense of Marriage Act probably would never have been filed.

I've posted a detailed map of the new House district 68 after the jump, along with the full text of Lundby's campaign announcement.

There's More... :: (0 Comments, 584 words in story)
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